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Friday, May 17, 2013
McAuley agrees new West Brom deal

David Instone

West Bromwich Albion have received a major end-of-season boost with Gareth McAuley's decision to sign a new two-year deal.

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McAuley, 33, dominated the club's recent Player of the Year awards night and has been rewarded for his excellent form with an improved contract that ties him to the Baggies until June, 2015.

The Northern Ireland defender has started all but two games of Albion's Premier League campaign and netted in wins against Everton and Liverpool.

Head coach Steve Clarke said on the club's official website: "I'm absolutely delighted the deal has been done. The fact Gareth has signed it tells you it is a good deal for him - and it is certainly a good deal for the club.

"He's been a stand-out performer this season and deserves every reward he gets. He is important to the dressing room.

"I've mentioned a number of times how strong the dressing room is and how we have a lot of good characters in there. Gareth is one of those. He's important to the club and squad  both on and off the pitch."

The Bosman free signing joined Albion on an initial three-year deal in July, 2011 and has forged a formidable partnership with Jonas Olsson at the heart of the West Brom defence over the last two seasons.

Sporting and technical director (designate) Richard Garlick added: "Gareth has had a fantastic season and has rightly collected all the awards. He thoroughly deserves this extended contract.

"He has gone from strength to strength and the level he's playing at now is appreciated by the club and the fans. He's one of the core players in the squad, is a naturally fit lad and a very good pro."

In total, McAuley has made 73 appearances, including one as a sub, for Albion, his tally of four goals also including a late winner at home to Chelsea last season.

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